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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Cloth Diapering 101: Newborn Diaper Stash

How many cloth diapers do you need to make it work? It depends on whether you want to EXCLUSIVELY cloth diaper, or whether you want to use disposables on occasion (at night, for naps, while going out or traveling, etc). Honestly, I planned to use exclusively cloth but we definitely use disposables sometimes--mainly my husband James will use them at night because he is tired and can't be bothered with cloth (though it's barely more work at all).

Anyway, I have found that I need more diapers than I thought I would. Generally I would say you need about a diaper an hour--so if you want to wash diapers every day, you need at least 24 diapers, and if you want to wash them every other day, 48 diapers.

Prefold Diapers

The "meat and potatoes" of any cloth diaper stash is prefold cloth diapers--these are cheap and effective. It would be hard to have enough cloth diapers using exclusively the more expensive fancy diapers unless you were rich.

We have about 42 prefold diapers:
--12 in newborn size, which we ABSOLUTELY needed for the newborn period. Almost no other diapers fit him. He outgrew them around 1 month.
--12 standard size, but extra thin--again, these fit well during the newborn time, we could fold them up enough that they really worked well. Again, these didn't work anymore after about a month because they weren't absorbent enough.
--18 regular size (12 we got new and 6 used from my sister-in-law). We started using these when he outgrew the newborn diapers and they worked really well for several weeks. In the last week or two, we are finding he is soaking through them in one pee, though, so we started adding extra padding to them with inserts.

Prefolds need to be used with a cover.

Our other cloth diapers . . .

Fitted Diapers

We have four fitted diapers. Three kissaluvs size 0, and one happy heiny brand fitted diaper--they are basically the same.

These were also perfect during the newborn period--they are trim and fit a little one perfectly. Now that he's a bit older, we've been using them under a prefold--this seems to work very well. Soon he will outgrow them altogether, though!

Fitted diapers also need to be used with a cover.

Pocket Diapers

Pocket Diapers have a pocket in the back where you add an absorbent insert. It is nice because you can tailor it to fit your baby's needs--you can add extra inserts to absorb more, and you can add doublers where you need them (in the front for a boy or in the middle for a girl). Since you take the inserts out to wash them, they also dry quickly, which is really nice.

Most of my pocket diapers are Happy Heinys sized diapers. I just think they are the cutest things ever--they come in a TON of patterns and colors. Happy Heiny also has a one-size line, but I don't have any of those.

First we have three extra small white Happy Heinys:

The solid color Happy Heinys are made with PUL (polyurethane laminated fabric), and so are totally waterproof. I like to use these at night and for naps since they hold more pee.

The extra small ones are supposed to be from 5 to 8.5 pounds, but James has a pretty small butt, so he is just growing out of them now at 11 pounds. Actually, Happy Heiny changed their small line--now it is called "Micro Minis" and they have three extra small sizes that fit from 2 pounds to 8 pounds. Probably these extra smalls that I have are about the same size as the largest Micro-Mini. They do not need a cover.

Next, five small size Happy Heiny Diapers with patterns (these are my total favorites, SO CUTE):

On the top, we have two pirate pattern diapers. On the bottom, from left to right: sea creatures, cows, and black dahlias.

The patterned Happy Heiny diapers are not TOTALLY waterproof, but they will not leak or wet through unless they are seriously soaked. They do not need a cover.

Next, two small size Happy Hempy diapers:

These are also pocket diapers, but the outside is made of a layer of hemp, so they are extremely absorbent. Therefore, I usually use these for overnight or naps. They do need a cover.

Last but not least, a size extra-small fuzzibunz brand pocket diaper:

We got this as a hand-me-down from my sister-in-law as well. It seems to work well, and it is also waterproof, so good for naps and overnight. James will be growing out of it soon as well, though.

As you can see, this diaper has snaps, as oppose to Velcro closures. I think I prefer the Velcro because I feel like you can get a better fit. However, a lot of people actually prefer the snaps because the Velcro can stick to things in the laundry.

This diaper does not need a cover.

So that is our newborn/small stage cloth diaper stash!

Prefolds--24 newborn/18 small
Fitteds--4 newborn
Pockets--4 newborn/7 small

We wash diapers every day.

If you are interested in cloth diapering, hopefully this will give you an idea of how many diapers you would need to do it (almost) full time. However, it's not all-or-nothing with cloth diapering. If you have five cloth diapers (or one 12-pack of prefolds), you could use them part of the time and use disposables the rest of the time.


A said...

I have size medium g-diapers for you! I just haven't been up to see you and give them to you guys yet. I have two little g-pants (the diaper cover) and a package of the biodegradable inserts- I think there's like 30 in there.

justadrienne said...

woohoo I'm so excited! I think they'll be perfect for when we are out.

mpence said...

We use Mother-Ease one size diapers and I love that they have snaps instead of velcro. The snaps last longer, and as you get to where you have a toddler, are much harder to get undone than velcro!

We cloth diapered full time for my last 2 babies, but this time around, I just can't seem to take the plunge. I don't feel like I have it 'enough together' yet to add another load of wash each day (2 in cloth diapers, means I really do need to wash every day!) I prefer using the cloth because of the chemicals in the disposables, and because I think it feels better against their skin...but I am not getting school and therapy done consistantly enough right now...hopefully soon though!

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